With Punjab limping back to normalcy after remaining tense for past few days over desecration of the holy book, All India Anti-Terrorist Front chairman M S Bitta on Friday said, political parties should stop giving statements which may disturb peace in the state.
“Punjab has gone through difficult times and seen its worst days during the militancy period. Peace returned to the state after people like (former chief minister) Sardar Beant Singh gave their sacrifices,” Bitta said.
“It is a sensitive issue. Everyone must understand that the situation is fluid. Political parties must not give out such statements that will add fuel to the fire. For the sake of Punjab, the parties must rise above their narrow political interests and not play politics on sensitive issues,” Bitta said.
“All parties should speak in one voice so that it conveys a stern message to those elements who are again bent upon disturbing the hard-earned peace in the state,” he added.
Reacting on the recent spate of protests against reports of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, Bitta warned that Punjab is a border state and if political parties indulge in blame game, anti-social and foreign elements may take advantage of the situation.
On the issue of top Sikh clergy at loggerheads over the issue to pardon Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Bitta said, the latter should “voluntarily stop all the activities of Dera in the state.”
“If it doesn’t stop, all the activities of Dera Sacha Sauda should be banned in Punjab. The Dera’s activities have not helped the cause of peace in the state,” he said.
Bitta also said political parties should stop the policy of ‘appeasing’ the Sirsa Dera for ‘vote bank politics’.
“This policy of appeasing the Sirsa Dera for vote bank politics can be dangerous for Punjab,” he said.